Handsome and made of hardwood, this timekeeper manages your digital distractions so you don’t have to
In the pledge to remain always in-the-know, our connectedness has become a hindrance against itself, distracting us from the world it was supposed to bring us closer to. In essence, then, with its reclaimed wood facade, the Ingrein Clock, a timekeeper designed to maximize presence by disconnecting you without disconnecting your digital life, is a rebellion against ourselves (and our phones).
The LCD screen tucked underneath the clock’s hands supplies its owners with programmable notifications that are delivered as one sees fit. Through integration with IFTTT, and other smart home devices, the Ingrein Clock will flash weather updates, inform when a spouse is approaching the home, or (work-life balance enthusiasts will cringe) ping a user when an important email from the boss has arrived without the need to be tied at the hip to your phone throughout the weekend.
The LCD display can serve as a communication window for up to five users, perfect for a micro office or a tech-savvy household of millennial roommates, and can be supplemented with programmable lighting and sound options for further attention-grabbing. Different settings will call for different notification setups, of course.
A slew of other uses are possible, of course, given IFTTT’s platform. Whether you’ve come to rely on Medium, LinkedIn, Amazon Alexa, Fitbit, Spotify or countless other apps and products to power your every day, the smart clock can deliver their services in a filtered approach that makes sense for your life (or work ) style.
Having tested the clock, this writer saw an instant need to transfer two functions that had never adequately been tended to on my phone according to my personal needs: morning weather updates and important events that have the tendency of perhaps falling under the radar (think: coffee for networking purposes with someone you met months back at an industry event).
As someone with a bevy of apps, news platforms, a wide social network, an email-heavy job and god knows what else fighting for my notification bar’s real estate, it’s become easy for me to lose track of what isn’t actively vying for my attention: yes, on most days, even things like the weather. Haven experimented with a litany of weather apps, widgets, email alerts, you name it, it was far easier to be served rain updates while preparing breakfast without having to locate my phone with my free hand or in a different room altogether. (I’ve certainly burnt a few omelettes doing this).
There’s surely room for more Ingrein Clock transference and reliance (especially for other users) but my experience speaks to what makes this particular device a welcome home item: every user/clock relationship will prove to be as different as our digital lives have come to be.
As the Ingrein team makes note on their current Kickstarter page:
“We believe that there are better ways to view and send information than using a keyword or a flat screen. By ingraining cutting edge technology in beautiful objects, we are creating specialized devices that use motion, sound, contextual information, and light to interact with you in a more human way.”
It must be said, of course, that the Ingrein Clock isn’t for everyone; there’s plenty of folks out there who are increasingly scrambling for an actual disconnection from the digital world instead of a reprieve from it. Not to mention that the addition of another connected device in the home can rightly seem suspect to the tech-inundated. But, for those who don’t want to miss out on life while also choosing to not miss out on the notifications that let us get on with it, a home or work accessory like the Ingrein Clock could prove to provide the kind of filter hyperconnected lives desperately need.